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15 Ways to Make Time to Sew

We are all time-poor when it comes to finding an opportunity to sew when we have to manage a family and a job, plus all the household chores. So, how do some people make the time to create gorgeous outfits and have handmade gifts seemingly magically appear at all the festive occasions? There are a few secrets these people have mastered. Read on to find out

15 ways how to find more time to sew

  1. Create a habit

It’s far too easy to make excuses for all the reasons you don’t have time but if you make a conscious decision that you will set aside a certain amount of time each day or week then you create a habit – once a habit is established it is easier to maintain. So, decide on a certain number of minutes you would like to dedicate to sewing per week and stick to the plan. Soon it will become a habit.

  1. Set up a sewing corner close to where you spend most of your time at home

If you have to put your machines away each time and set them up you lose far too much time. Ideally you need a small space set up close to the kitchen because this is where we do spend a lot of our time, cooking, feeding children snacks, and so on. So, while something is baking, or simmering you can sit down for 20 minutes or so and sew, if everything is set up close to your other activities. Remember to set a timer otherwise you may get so involved in the sewing you forget about what’s going on in the kitchen!

  1. Have all your supplies at hand

Purchase a cupboard or cabinet where you store everything you need close to your machines instead of having to haul them out of storage somewhere else in the house. Fold away tables certainly save space for cutting, and those cupboards that have shelving in the doors like a refrigerator means you can see everything at a glance. Buying in bulk will save you time having to go out to buy a single zipper or a couple of buttons for a project.

  1. Instant clean up

I keep a small bin near my machines. As I cut and de-thread everything goes in the bin instead of on the floor so there is far less time spent cleaning, or getting the balled cotton out of your office chair wheels – see the next point.

  1. Invest in a good chair on wheels

Some time ago I invested in an ergonomically designed office chair for better back support and to wheel easily between the straight machine and serger (overlocker). It just saved so much time in getting items instead of having to stand up and fetch them. At that stage I was sewing commercially with industrial machines and it saved me on production time. The best thing is you can use the chair in your home office too – after all you can’t be in two places at once. But back to Point 4: I complained to my husband that the office chair wheels seems to have seized. He spent an hour taking out balls of thread that had wound around the wheel mechanisms! Now nothing goes on the floor.

  1. Time your set-up

Time how long it take to set up your machine and supplies if you simply don’t have the space to leave them out. This way you know if it takes 10 minutes to set up and you have half an hour at least you can get in a good 20 minutes of sewing time. Fifteen minutes available? It’s not worth it – rather spend that time on cutting or doing any hand stitching, or mending that is needed on a garment.

  1. Set up a production line

how to find time to sew - set up production line

Let’s say you plan on making a couple of projects, then cut them, pack them neatly into bags with the pattern and instructions, any extra bits in case you need to recut a piece or forgot to add in a trim etc. I pack all the in-progress projects into a clear plastic storage container. If you only have a short time to sew, choose projects that use the same color thread so you don’t waste time changing thread, and go all out with the machining. You can do the turning, pressing and pinning later. Just make sure to pack the applicable pieces back in the right bags with the instructions so you don’t forget where each piece belongs.

  1. Get up earlier or stay up a little later to sew

My children often joke about how they would awaken as teens to the zztt zztt sound of the machine going. I found early in the morning was my best time to sew before going off to work. When you choose to sew depends on whether you are an early bird or a night owl.

  1. Schedule sewing time

Most of us schedule just about everything – kids school, our work time, taking kids to ballet or guitar lessons, so let the family know that a certain half hour during the week day is you sewing time and you are not to be disturbed. Allow them a special TV program they enjoy or time to use video games – only if you are not disturbed in your sewing. It creates a win-win situation for everyone.

  1. Batch activities

Do all the cutting at one time, pressing at another if possible. This makes for less work in setting up the cutting table or taking out the iron and ironing board, as once they are out and ready you can use them for an extended period of time instead of just a few minutes.

  1. Focus on quality

Rather produce one beautifully finished garment every two weeks or so than get into a competitive cycle with other sewists who are churning out the projects by the day. Everyone’s circumstances are different – they may not have kids at home, or be working full time, or may not have a partner. Work at your own pace – sewing is meant to be a pleasure, not a chore. In the short times you have to sew make sure each pattern piece is properly joined to the next and you follow the pattern instructions, rather than rushing and then having to unpick because you missed an important step.

  1. Schedule a weekend retreat

People make time for yoga and health retreats – why not set up a retreat where you can get together at someone’s home for a day, take your machines and materials. Obviously it would have to be someone who has the space. There are some places that rent out space – like community halls where you can gather to sew and even some places that have the equipment and host a sewing retreat.

  1. Be ruthless with distractions

It’s too easy to be sucked into watching a video, scrolling through social media or ‘looking for ideas on Pinterest’. If you have some time free be ruthless in switching off those distractions and head to your machine for that half hour that can so easily be swallowed up in our digital age.

  1. Use TV time

When the family is seated after supper watching TV programs it’s easy to do de-threading, unpicking, or sewing on buttons while you watch. Any low focus task can be done in this time and will put you ahead in your sewing schedule.

  1. Delegate tasks

When kids and teens beg for a costume or outfit to be created then explain that you are willing to sew it, but in return they need to do something to help – folding washing, cooking a basic meal or something that you would otherwise be doing that they can handle during your sewing time. Motivate them enough with programs and a recipe book and you may even have a junior master chef in the making!

Are you ready to take your sewing skills to the next level but struggling to find the time to do so? We’ve all been there. But with our expert advice and practical tips, you’ll be able to make more time for sewing and create beautiful projects in no time. From setting realistic goals to creating a dedicated sewing space, these were my top tips how to make time to sew and achieve your sewing dreams. So why wait? Click on our link below and start sewing today!

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